U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a second round of grants totaling $140 million to nearly 900 local homeless assistance programs across the country. Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care Program (CoC), the funding announced today will ensure additional permanent housing and transitional housing renewal projects are able to continue operating in the coming year, providing critically needed housing and support services to those persons and families experiencing homelessness. Also included in this announcement are 436 new projects aimed to provide permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing chronic homelessness and to rapidly re-house families with children that are living on the streets or in emergency shelter. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
This year, Continuums of Care were asked to make strategic and hard decisions in order to implement a required 5 percent cut as a result of sequestration. The selection criteria included in the FY2013 - FY2014 CoC Program Competition NOFA allowed HUD to fund all eligible new permanent housing projects requested in Tier 1 and Tier 2, as well as fund permanent housing and transitional housing renewal projects requested in Tier 2. Unfortunately, however, more than 300 otherwise eligible HMIS, Supportive Services Only, Planning and UFA project applications were not awarded funds in this competition.
What is promising is that in spite of the tough budgetary decisions CoCs were forced to make, most CoCs chose to reallocate funds to create new projects following best-practice models that serve those homeless persons most in need which will help communities increase progress towards achieving the goals of Opening Doors.
"Communities all across the country are changing their approach to reducing homelessness and now is not the time to retreat from doing what we know works", said Donovan. “Investing in proven strategies such as Rapid Re-housing and Housing First help to break the cycle of homelessness as we’ve known it in these communities."
Adjustments to Funding
The conditional award amounts for many Tier 2 renewal projects are different than the amount requested in the project application. This is because HUD was required to make adjustments to funding in accordance with the HEARTH Act and the CoC Program interim rule. It should be noted that these adjustments were made after
the tiers were established, and as follows:
- Funds awarded for rental assistance were adjusted by applying the Fair Market Rent (FMR) in effect at the time of award, including in the cases where the FMR for a specific area decreased from the previous year. View the FY2014 Fair Market Rent Limits.
- Funds awarded for operating and leasing in permanent housing projects were increased based on the average increase in FMR amounts within the CoC’s geographic area, weighted for population density. Because leasing and operating costs do not decrease relative to rent amounts for specific units (e.g., operating costs for 10 units that have rents of $500 are likely the same as for 10 units that have rents that are $450), adjustments to leasing and operating line items did not include decreases if FMRs decreased in the geographic area.
- Funds awarded for rental assistance project administration were decreased if the awarded amount exceeded the 7 percent cap. The amount awarded was reduced back to 7 percent.
- Funds awarded for project administration were decreased if the amount awarded exceeded the 10 percent cap. The amount awarded was reduced back to 10 percent.
HUD understands that some CoCs with one or more projects that did not get renewed may wish to request Technical Assistance (TA). To make a request for TA:
- Go to the Technical Assistance page
- Scroll to the bottom of the page
- Select Request Technical Assistance
When submitting a request for technical assistance, be prepared to provide:
- A detailed description of what you need help with;
- A description of why you need help;
- An explanation of what the help will allow you to accomplish;
- Indicate if the organization and/or political leadership are supportive or open to receiving help and making needed changes in staffing, program design, etc.
Based on the information you provide, HUD will determine the type and level of assistance available to you. If you are a subrecipient organization, meaning you do not receive funds directly from HUD but receive them through a competitive HUD recipient, please contact the recipient so it can submit a TA request for technical assistance on your behalf.